Summary: Honoring God is closely followed by honoring parents. This is no accidental order in the Ten Commandments list. We do well to pay attention here and help our children follow this.
Don’t you enjoy watching your kids learn as they grow up? Think of all the things you teach your children:
How to walk, talk, pray, trust God, follow Jesus, Bible characters, eat, clean up, tie shoes, dress, share, sit quietly in church, get along with brothers or sisters, and on and on. Our children learn an amazing amount from us. As a parent watching my children and now my grandchildren grow up, what a blessing God has given us to be part of the process. I pray for each one of my kids and grandkids every day and my prayer is always the same: I pray that they all be faithful servants in Christ’s kingdom and walk obediently with the Lord, and when my grandchildren grow up, may they meet and marry godly faithful mates and build godly faithful Christian homes. Whatever happens, keep them close to you.
How do we as parents help our children to honor you and obey us? If we want our kids to honor and obey us, the best way to accomplish this is for us as parents to honor and obey God. Deut 12:28
28 Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God.
Today we will study the fifth commandment. Let’s start by looking at a handful of scriptures:
Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Deut. 5:16 "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Now listen to the echo of this in the New Testament:
6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother"-which is the first commandment with a promise- 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Jesus said: Matt 15:3-9
3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' 5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' 6 he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"
Just how serious is it that children learn to honor their parents?
Exodus 21:15, 17
15 "Anyone who attacks his father or his mother must be put to death.
17 "Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.
Lev. 20:9 "'If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.
Prov 30:17 "The eye that mocks a father, that scorns obedience to a mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.
18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
How can we help our children? What can we do to prevent them from dishonoring us and turning away from God?
6:1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.